It was a powerful day in Decatur, AL, yesterday as VMI, together with Toyota and the National Mobility Equipment Dealers Association (NMEDA), recognized Courtney Boyll as a winner of the Local Hero Contest and recipient of a new mobility vehicle.
Boyll, a wife, teacher, coach and mother of three, won over the hearts of contest judges with a video testimony of her journey and current community involvement in Moulton. Boyll’s story is one of resilience and she was a perfect candidate for the contest designed to specifically promote Mobility Awareness Month.
“I was in a car accident when I was 16 and was paralyzed from the chest down,” Boyll said. “But all things are possible when you believe.”
Boyll was actually scouring the internet for a place that accepted insurance for new wheelchairs when she came across the Local Hero Contest. Her current chair had experienced tremendous wear and tear from maneuvering in and out of the family car.
“I found the contest and immediately called my sister to see if we could film a submission,” Boyll said. “My sister goes, ‘somebody’s got to win, so it might as well be you,’ and next thing I know my good friend came and made a great edit in just one day!”
After harnessing over 50,000 votes online, Boyll’s video impressed a semifinalist panel of health care professionals, earning her a 2014 Toyota Sienna with VMI’s Northstar Access360 conversion.
“VMI understood me better than I understand myself,” she said. “I never realized all the possibilities available to me in an accessible vehicle. I can effortlessly roll up in there and there’s much more room for my family. The conversion is just amazing.”
Boyll is already ecstatic about the time- saving, simple solution this mobility van provides and the many benefits it offers her precious cargo.
“My daughter is going to enjoy being able to sit up front with me, unless she prefers the DVD player in the back,” she joked.
VMI, Toyota and NMEDA are proud to recognize Boyll and not just give her a van, but honor her strength.